North Korea has warned that the South’s resumption of anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts on the border could push the Korean Peninsula to “the brink of war.”
Seoul on Friday unleashed a propaganda barrage across the border, ratcheting up tensions following Pyongyang’s announcement of successful testing of a hydrogen bomb.
In North’s first official reaction to the broadcasts, head of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party propaganda department Kim Ki-nam lashed out at the move.
“Jealous of the successful test of our first H-bomb, the US and its followers are driving the situation to the brink of war by saying they have resumed psychological broadcasts and brought in strategic bombers,” Kim said.
The broadcasts include a mix of everything from music to news and rhetoric against the North Korean government. They are reminiscent of psychological warfare tactics that date back to the 1950-53 Korean War.
On Friday, thousands thousands of people gathered in central Pyongyang in a show of support for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on his birthday.
While the US and its allies have cast doubt on North’s testing allegation, they have pledged to launch a “united and strong” response and the UN Security Council has threatened North Korea with new sanctions.
North Korea’s state news agency said Friday in a statement that Pyongyang would continue to develop its nuclear program as a means of deterrence against potential acts of aggression from the United States.
Video of submarine
North Korea, meanwhile, released the video of what it called a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test.
South Korean media cast doubt on the footage, saying it was an edited compilation of the North’s last month SLBM test in the Sea of Japan and a different ballistic missile test dating back to 2014.
A South Korean military official was reported as saying that Seoul and Washington had discussed the deployment of US strategic assets on the Korean peninsula.
Media reports said those assets could include B-2 and B-52 bombers, and a nuclear-powered submarine.
In 2013, North Korea threatened a nuclear strike on the US after Washington sent a pair of nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers on a sortie over South Korea in a show of force.